‘Zombie Boy’ Rick Genest family claim death was accidental
The family of model Zombie Boy have insisted he did not kill himself and that his death was a tragic accident. The 32-year-old heavily tattooed model – who was known by the moniker Zombie Boy – died after falling from a balcony at his home in Montreal and although police sources have called the death a suicide, his family insist he did not deliberately take his own life.
Rick’s manager Karim Leduc told PEOPLE: “For us, the family and close entourage, we feel there’s too many inconsistencies around his death to rule it as a suicide, and for people to jump to conclusions that rapidly was disappointing.
“The balcony from which he fell on the third floor was a very dangerous balcony. Just three weeks ago, I visited that balcony with him and was on it with him smoking a cigarette, as well. It’s a balcony that has very small rails/guards — an emergency/fire escape balcony – and he was leaning his back towards it like sitting on the ledge of the rail, and he fell from his backside onto the floor.”
He added that he doesn’t believe the model – who famously appeared in Lady Gaga’s 2011 music video for ‘Born This Way’ and became a close friend of the singer – would kill himself as he had many plans for the future.
He said: “He didn’t leave any notes and had actually made plans for a couple things that week. He’s not someone who, we feel, would commit suicide; he’s not someone who would do something like that because he’s very thoughtful of others. Even though he was going through some very difficult, emotion[al] periods at the time, he hung on.”
Rick was with his girlfriend at his apartment before the fall last week and told her he was going outside to have a cigarette. Karim added: “After he was gone an unusually long time, she went to check up on him and she saw him on the ground at the bottom. She’s the one that ran up to him. She’s in a complete state of shock at the hospital now.”
After news of Rick’s death broke, Lady Gaga penned a touching tribute to him and claimed he had died by suicide. She wrote: “The suicide of friend Rick Genest, Zombie Boy is beyond devastating. We have to work harder to change the culture, bring Mental Health to the forefront and erase the stigma that we can’t talk about it.” She has since apologized for the premature tweet. She tweeted: “Out of respect for Rick’s family, Rick & his legacy I apologize if I spoke too soon as there was no witnesses or evidence to support any conclusion for the cause of his death. I in no way meant to draw an unjust conclusion My deepest condolences to his entire family and friends.(sic)”